Southside crushes Lady Saints

Published 1:26 am Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Southside’s Kendra Hudson takes a swing against rival Selma High School Tuesday at the Dallas County Sportsplex. The Lady Panthers won a thriller 21-14. -- Robert Hudson

The Southside Lady Panthers gave up a big lead, but fought back to take a 21-14 win over the rival Selma Lady Saints at the Dallas County Sportsplex Tuesday.

Tim O’Neal, head softball coach of Southside High School (3-7), said his team switched strategies to cool off the Lady Saints.

“I think we came up with the right strategy at the right time,” O’Neal said. “They were getting momentum from the girl that was hitting home runs, and we started walking her, and that took some of the momentum from them. We adjusted our lineup a few times and got some of the players in the right position. I felt that we didn’t play as good as we could have because we weren’t hitting the ball like we should. We’ve got a lot to learn.”

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Trailing 9-0 after one inning, a solo home run by Shaquira Livingston gave Selma its first run and sparked a three-run inning that made the score 10-3 after two innings.

The Lady Saints added three more runs to make it 10-6 in the bottom of a third inning in which Livingston belted another solo homer.

The Lady Panthers added another run in the top of the fourth when Dhakoda Sallie scored on a fielder’s choice, making it 11-6, but Selma continued to fight back, as Charmekia Moore, Breonda Hall and Janai Williams each scored runs off of Panther mistakes to make it an 11-9 game in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Southside capitalized off a few mistakes by Selma, as Kimberly Smith scored from third base off a wild pitch in the top of the fifth inning to make it 12-9.

Selma didn’t give up, as Lady Saints Breanna Pritchett, Irishia Moore and Sequita Carter each scored runs on fielding errors to bring Selma within reach at 13-12 in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Selma’s Dyteria Johnson scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 13-13 in the fifth.

Southside retook the lead in the top of the sixth inning when Eureka Ellis scored from third base on a wild pitch to make the score 14-13.

The Lady Panthers got another big play when Khadija Fails hit a line drive to center field that scored runners Smith and Crystal Norris and pushed Southside’s lead to 16-13.

The Lady Panthers continued the momentum when Jasmine Pettway tagged up from third, and Fails scored from third base later in the inning on an infield fly to make it 18-13 in the bottom of the sixth.

Mark Fudor, head softball coach of Selma High School (2-8), said his team just dug itself into too deep a hole.

“The main thing at the beginning is that we didn’t play well,” Fudor said. “The girls fought, they played hard and we got a lot of hits and things, but when you give up 10 or 12 runs, it’s hard to come back.”